Local restaurants suffer after near lockdown restrictions in Punjab reduce their business to mere deliveries and no dine in.
Samrala: Cafe 49, one of the most popular restaurants in the city faces dire consequences of the curbs introduced by the government of Punjab after the second wave of Coronavirus hit the entire country. Restaurants are simply restricted to home deliveries. Rupinder Singh Gill, owner of Cafe 49 says, “The dine in business has been largely affected with institutions being closed at the moment. We have faced losses of around 60-70 percent and now provide only home deliveries with no takeaways.”
The delivery system is unorganized as well, since Zomato and Swiggy don’t operate in such small cities and villages. It’s the responsibility of the restaurant owners themselves to provide their customers with the facility of delivering food at home which others like Taste mates(another local dine in place) don’t have. While Cafe 49 also struggles in this department as they have only one member in their team for delivery service. Rupesh Singh, incharge of deliveries, informed about the difficulty in managing multiple orders because people have to wait for their turn, one after the other.
Customers who ate out often with their friends and families are wary about any other food than made at home since the cases are increasing rapidly in the state. Divyanoor Singh, resident of Samrala who is a regular customer at these restaurants, said he liked going to these places to eat with his friends, earlier it was the norm to get together after playing in the evening but now the fear of Covid has returned in a deadly form so he prefers home cooked food and meals as they are skeptical ordering from outside.
Despite the opportunity, Zomato and Swiggy are nowhere to be found in order to help and sustain the business. The government should come up with a plan for the functioning of the local restaurants with which they can operate under these circumstances.